save prada marfa

My love for Marfa is well documented. (As is Beyonce’s. ) Along with Palm Springs, the one-stoplight town in West Texas is my favorite in the entire country. Which is why I need your help. See how you can help Save Prada Marfa by buying a Gray Malin print!


valentine, texas; marfa, texas

How To Help Save Prada Marfa

I’ll forever remember driving across country and stumbling upon the tiny West Texas town of Marfa.

It was during a cross-country roadtrip while crusing alonga long, solitary stretch of road in the middle of nowhere in West Texas, that suddenly – – like a fashion mirage — Prada Marfa appeared.

We zipped past it before our minds could even register what it was. Desert mirage? We hightailed it into reverse, stopping before the structure, to realize it was, in fact, very real.

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prada marfa installation

marfa art

What Is Prada Marfa?

Well, sort of anyway.

Prada Marfa is a public art installation erected in 2005. It stands out on its own against the open landscape and enormous ranches of rural West Texas.

And, while Prada Marfa’s doors don’t actually open to sell its wares, the art installation is a must-visit.

The landmark known as Prada Marfa now acts as an unofficial town beacon of sorts — even if it is technically in Valentine, Texas.

Locals, which include a mix of ranchers, farmers, artists and Austin and Brooklyn refugees, and visitors alike have embraced Prada Marfa for the past eight years. It’s one of the main attractions in Marfa and why people come to visit period.

prada marfa art; prada marfa photos; prada marfa photographs

The Controversy Over Prada Marfa

But, then along came Playboy.

Playboy, in an attempt to re-energize the fading Playboy brand and reach a younger, hipper audience, erected “art” of its own — a giant Playboy logo alongside a Dodge Charger poised on a raised platform.

Hashtag fail.

Like most Marfa-lovers and locals, I was not a fan (to say the very least and to keep things ladylike), so when someone filed a claim to have it removed, citing that Playboy didn’t obtain a permit to have the billboard erected, I was relieved.

However, now that also puts our beloved Prada Marfa in peril.

Why? Becasue eight years after its inception, the Texas Department of Transportation has ruled that Prada Marfa is not art, but an outdoor advertisement and, thus, ruled it illegal.

save prada marfa kelly lee kelly golightly

How to Help

In an effort to benefit Ballroom Marfa, the non-profit that originally helped fund the Prada Marfa installation and continues to maintain it, my friend, artist Gray Malin has launched a never-released photograph from his Prada Marfa series to help benefit Ballroom Marfa in hopes of saving Prada Marfa.

WHEW, that was a mouthful!

And, for one week only, he is selling the print for a deeply discounted price.

The 11″x17″ signed print, entitled Pondering Prada Marfa, will be sold on Gray Malin’s website for $99 this week only, with 25% of the proceeds going to Ballroom Marfa. This will help raise awareness about the current law in place declaring that Prada Marfa is an illegal outdoor advertisement, as well as to support the organization’s mission to champion and fund similar projects and artists.


The Meaning Behind Pondering Prada Marfa by Gray Malin

Gray Malin explains: “Pondering Prada Marfa was selected to remind us that although art is supposed to ignite a conversation and force us to dig deeper, it is also for our pleasure and enjoyment. If the installation was torn down, it would deny many people a chance to enjoy this incredible ‘pop architectural land-art’ installation. Through this photograph, we hope to bring back Ballroom Marfa’s mission to empower artists to create art for art’s sake.”

I’m with Gray: Let’s #savepradamarfa!

Help save Prada Marfa… Get a fabulous photo! Who’s in?

You can purchase Pondering Prada Marfa through October 27th on Gray Malin.


Top photo: Pondering Marfa by Gray Malin; all others by Kelly Golightly

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